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Let’s imagine the following: You’re just getting started as an online language teacher but don’t have enough students yet to make a living. However, you’re keen to leave your home country and start travelling.

The most obvious solution is to go to a country with low living costs. Thailand and especially Chiang Mai are very popular among digital nomads in general. However, there are lots of other options. Finances are important but going to a place you’re not excited about just because it’s cheap,

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Have you ever felt guilty because you’re “just” a teacher? Have you enviously looked at those people who successfully created their own brands and have hundreds or even thousands of followers on Facebook?

Perhaps you have already spent money on courses on how to build an email list but nobody signs up or everyone wants free stuff only.

Or you just don’t feel motivated to make the next step and become a teacherpreneur.

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A while ago, I wrote an article about how to teach a trial session. In that article, I mentioned that my trials (or first lessons) are normally quite informal and conversation-based. However, it doesn’t make sense to have just a pleasant conversation with a student. So let’s discuss how to ask the right questions which will make your student feel confident about future lessons and will encourage him to book further lessons with you.

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Sometimes, this question seems to be dogmatic. Like: If you don’t use your own material, you’re not a real teacher.

So let’s have a look at both possibilities, textbooks or own material.

Working with your own material

In most cases, “own material” is not as original as the expression suggests. When preparing their own material, teachers use texts from the internet, videos, pictures, excerpts and exercises from grammar books etc.

Authentic material taken from websites or newspapers for native speakers often has to be adapted,

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At the end of last year, I decided to raise my italki rates considerably. However, I felt bad about suddenly charging my current students 8 -10 US$ more per hour and tried to find a solution.

Other teachers group their students meaning that a student who already started to learn with them two years ago may book a different course at a lower price. It’s a possibility but I don’t like it very much.

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In this article, I’d like to talk about how to provide material when conducting an online lesson.

How do you present your material? How do you make it available to your students?

I’m not going to talk about what kind of material is most appropriate to use. This is actually a topic I intend to cover in my next article.

In general, you have these possibilities to  provide material: 

  1. Send it by email before the lesson
  2. Send it through Skype before or during the lesson
  3. Share your screen during the lesson
  4. Share links to websites or videos during the lesson
  5. Give your students the possibility to download the material

So,

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Some time ago, an English teacher in a Facebook group expressed her surprise about a student who had told her how important it was for him to have a good and personal relationship with the teacher.

Being as much a teacher as a student, I know 1:1 sessions from both perspectives and the importance of a good and personal relationship between a teacher and a student doesn’t surprise me at all.

How a teacher changed my life with his personal approach towards students

When I was seventeen,

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It’s the nightmare of every digital nomad online teacher:  You come to a new place and discover that the internet sucks.

This is exactly what happened to me when I arrived in Prague a couple of days ago.  I had rented an AirBnB room and had told my host that I needed fast and reliable internet. She had assured me that it wouldn’t be a problem. Well, it was a problem. I nevertheless managed to teach all my scheduled lessons.

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If you teach on italki, you probably know this scenario: It’s Tuesday 10:00 am and a student sends you a reschedule request for the lesson at 11:00 am on Wednesday. Often without any explanations, no sorry, nothing, just taking it for granted that this is totally acceptable.

Of course, you could offer Instant Tutoring in the free hour but if you have other lessons from 10 – 11 am and then at 12:00 pm,

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When you only use a platform like italki to offer your lessons, you don’t necessarily need an email list. Some teachers ask their students for their email address in order to send them material by email. However, according to the laws of many countries, this doesn’t give you the right to start sending marketing emails without asking for permission.

Why email marketing?

But once you start with your own website, you need to start building your email list,

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